Thursday, 26 February 2009

Help Save The Youth Of Today From Exploding

Please excuse the Less Than Jake misquote in the title, I took the title for this post from the Album one of the most influential records I owned as a teen. I bought the double pack which included ‘Hello Rockview’ and ‘Loosing Streak’ in one box, after recent rediscovery I still can’t decide which is my favourite as they are both fantastic albums.

The shuffle feature on iTunes has a habit of reminding me of great albums I have not heard for a long time, I recently rediscovered ‘Milo Goes To College’ by the Descendents which is one of the best punk albums ever made. Howev
er the record is not the best value for money considering all 15 tracks are over within 23 minutes with only 3 tracks over 2 minutes on the whole album. I also recently rediscovered my two favourite punk albums of the 90’s (‘Underground Network’ by Anti-Flag and Rancid’s ‘…And Out Come The Wolves’) looking back on albums I loved as a teen made me wonder if taste in music is nature or nurture.

As a kid I listened to the music my Dad played me, luckily this was pretty good mostly the Clash, Jam and Stranglers all of which I still listen to now. My Uncle also h
ad a huge influence with Lou Reed, The Specials, Velvet Underground and Ramones. As I grew up popularity influenced my music tastes, as most peoples Dad’s were older than mine Dad music was known to be shit so I didn’t want to disagree. When I was about 12 I went through a stage of listening to gansta rap mainly because my older cousin from USA was into it and I wanted to be ‘cool’ like him. After that my friends at the time who were all NME/Melody Maker readers had an influence on me and lead me to Indie, Steve Lamaaq and John Peel. Through this I discovered the Ska and Punk scene that was developing mainly through going to local gigs.

At this time I saw some of the best gigs I have ever seen with line ups I still dream about, my personal favourite was an all dayer featuring Captain Everything, Adequate Seven, Howards Alias and Kenisia. This gig blew me away so I pledged allegiance to Household Name Records and got myself to a barber for a Mohawk. As I grew older and wiser I realised that music was so broad it was crazy to stick to one genre and developed into the well rounded music snob I am now.

I often feel my music taste is superior and try to nurture people into listening to my favourite bands to mould them into better people. This musical arrogance tends to surface after a few pints but the thoughts are constantly at the back of my mind. I am lucky enough to have a sister who is 11 and as with my youth I want to be a positives influence on her musical choices. So when she realises that Dad music which she currently listens to is un-cool with her friends she can look to the ‘cool’ older brother for an escape from terrible pop music.

With this in mind to save her from the chart dance or any other rubbish I want to introduce her to the music I love genre by genre. I believe with any kind of music you have to start from the beginning or at least include the influential old stuff. For example what would a ska compilation be without the specials or punk without the Clash.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Fell In Love With A Girl


I hope you are good! As you might assume from the title I am posting about Valentines Day it may be a bit late but as this blog would have given away what I was giving.

I am wondering if the mix tape has died with the cassette, or if people other than me still make play lists, CD’s etc. for friends, other halves or whoever. I made my girlfriend 2 CD’s full of love songs for Valentines Day thinking that the effort that goes into this process is better than a bunch of roses or some chocolates. I also made a box and artwork for the CD’s saving me from making or buying a card. Fortunately my girlfriend was happy with the gift and could see the effort I went to.

I am just wondering if this is a cheap cop out or a romantic gesture, what’s your opinion? Leave a comment or whatever then we can spark a debate.

I often find that memories are stored in particular bands/songs which give every aspect of my life a separate play list. There are rare occasions where a song sparks a memory which can make you feel emotions so strong the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, below are a few that trigger this for me.

Boy Awaits Return Of The Runaway Girl by Hot Club De Paris

This song reminds me of times I have made mistakes or said the wrong thing and waited for the ‘runaway girl’ to come back and get the problems, I caused, sorted.

P.S You Rock My World by The Eels

This was chosen as a foot note mainly for the title, however the lyrics focus on the moment you realise you are in love. In E’s case this dawns on him at a funeral and makes him realise life is too short to be alone.

61C Days Turn To Night by Justin Sane

The lyrics here remind me of times spent away from my girlfriend whilst she was studying abroad. The description of how different everything feels when you are used to spending all your time together is now comforting as we have overcome the hurdle. I still think it’s important to remember low points to see how far you have come.

Perfect Day by Lou Reed

In a relationship there are a few perfect days that you always remember and choose to look back on. Although I have never enjoyed sangria in the park (or at all to be honest as I can’t stand red wine) I can relate to Lou’s perfect day and any excuse to remember good times is welcome.

Boy by Rueben

Lyrically and musically beautiful, this is one of the 2 Rueben songs that make the hairs on my neck stand up. It represents those times when a partner comforts you in bad times, some of the most beautiful and defining moments in a relationship come when guards are lowered in this way.

Picture Of You by Mr Hudson & The Library

Another song reminding me of separation in my relationship, most people carry a picture of a partner in their wallet. I find it comforting to always have a reminder close to me at all times.

Fell In Love With A Girl by The White Stripes

A musical reflection of falling in love, fast and loud like falling head over heals in love. The speed and length of the song perfectly represents the intensity of falling in love, the simple lyrics also describe the feeling.

Cheers for reading more soon!


Friday, 13 February 2009

Top 20 records of 2008

Blog number 2 for the day I'm an eager beaver!

I’ve been meaning to get this underway for a while as you might guess. I know it’s a bit late for this but after reading Big Cheese for research I noticed how far downhill it has gone since I last read it. The last time I bought a copy Capdown were on the cover and there was a free Household Name Records sampler, the current issue features Slipknot, HIM, Bring Me The Horizon, Mindless Self Indulgence and less depressingly The Gaslight Anthem.

Here are my top 20 Records of 2008

Albert Hammond Jr. > Commo Te Llama

The second album from the surprising Strokes guitarist, takes the Velvet Underground style of the Strokes but mixes in some Ska and Reggae to give it a unique sound.

Los Copesinos > Hold On Now Youngster

The first of the albums they released this year, full of happiness and a truly independent spirit.

Hot Chip > Made In The Dark

Follows up the warning perfectly with slightly higher levels of production, it’s almost impossible to listen to this without dancing on the inside at least.

MGMT > Oracular Spectacular

The best pop album you will hear this year, like rainbows from your speakers.

TV On The Radio > Dear Science

A deep and soulful record with electronic beats, funky guitars and dub undertones mixed together perfectly.

Hot Club De Paris > Live At Dead Lake

This Album is as good an indie record as you will hear all year with the addition of a free acoustic CD which is so good I wish they had recorded the whole album rather than just 4 tracks. HCDP mix pop punk effortlessly with clever lyrics, musically it is hard not be happy with each 3 minute slice of happiness. The acoustic CD includes a cover of Straight To Hell by the Clash which is the Best cover I have heard all year

Mad Caddies > Keep It Going

The move away from Ska Punk and Skacore towards a more UB40 Reggae angle has benefited Mad Caddies with this release. The slower sound has more depth but still holds onto the incredible brass sound that you would expect.

Bloc Party > Intimacy

When they hinted at a more dance angle for this album in interview I was a little worried but the electronic sound has benefited the developing style of Bloc Party well. This is no Silent Alarm but would you really want to hear the same style over and over.

12 & 11
Enemy Alliance/ Indecision Alarm > The New Wind and The Second Wave

A split so good each part deserves a place in the list, both bands include parts of the Satanic Surfers and continue the style of melodic hardcore played by them for so long. Each band has different twists on the genre with EA providing a faster approach with more melodic vocals and IA with raw vocals and a slightly slower back ground. I can’t wait for full lengths from both.

Zatopeks > Damn Fool Music

The Zatopeks have a similar style to TGA but play faster and loader, like a vintage inspired Captain Everything. The album also includes a couple of great slower songs and a great song about the Daily Mail.

Gashlight Anthem > The 59 Sound

This album deserves the critical acclaim it has achieved this year, catchy punk with a vintage style. This album has rarely left my Ipod or stereo since I bought it, I hope they can follow it up with an equally good next album.

Howards Alias > [EPI.PHAN.IC]

This is an album that has no peer in music, I have never heard a ska band play music fuelled by so much emotion. This album is sadly the last from Howards Alias and in my opinion the best they ever made I am still gutted I didn’t get to see this record played live.

Alkaline Trio > Agony & Irony

Another top draw album from Alk3 dark pop punk at it’s very best, I didn’t they could surpass Crimson but they proved me wrong. It’s my favourite Alk3 album and shows maturity and Matt Skiba’s continuing obsession with all things dark and gloomy but he somehow still writes music you can relate to.

Vic Ruggiero > Something In My Blindspot

The head of Ska institution The Slackers released an album that radiates cool and beauty in equal measures. Lyrically the mix of emotion and sarcasm is perfectly balanced; musically it has everything you would expect from a solo record with regular exchange’s between Vic’s deep raw voice and regular contributor Lisa’s prettier tones balance perfectly.

Milloy > Creating Problems While Practicing Solutions

This album balances raw vocals fast guitars and clever lyrics into in my opinion the best rock album of the year. Once this arrived on pre order it didn’t leave my side for at least 2 months.

Frank Turner > Lover Ire & Song

The Second of four solo records within the top 10 showing how good a year it was for solo albums. Frank mixes humour, passion, politics and heart felt emotion together in his own unique style. His voice is both soulful and honest as are his lyrics, he deserves a mention for his tear jerking single ‘The Queen Is Dead’ which he released and gave all the proceeds to charity.

Lightspeed Champion > Falling Off The Lavender Bridge

Dev Hayes went from fronting inspirational art punk three piece Test Icicles to writing one of the tenderest heartfelt records of the year. Musically it is as far away from the snarling fast sound delivered by Test Icicles as possible with Violins and acoustic guitar creating a fantastic sound. Lyrically the album is honest and genuine with hints of humour. 2009 will see a second album which I’m sure I will be writing about as highly.

Ben Folds > Way Too Normal

An album that was well worth the wait, a return to the sound explored with Ben Folds Five this record delivered everything I have come to expect. Politics, Sarcasm, Emotion and great piano this album sounds better with every listen.

Dan le Sac vs. Scrobbius Pip > Angles

This is UK hip hop at it’s finest an album that could quite easily be a quality dance record and a book of poetry or short stories. Where else would you find hip hop that covers issues such as self harm and revenge killing. Words cannot do this record justice I can’t see another hip hop act coming out with a better record in the genre ever.

A virtual handshake

Hi how’s it going?

Firstly I would like to introduce myself: I am Ben Adsett 22 from Cheltenham in the Cotswolds in the UK. I love music especially independent music on tiny record labels that nobody else listens to. I also like to watch bands on small record labels play live as often as possible.

My love of independent music has brought me together with 2 people who share my interest in music and the independent scene. We all agree that the current, market for music magazines does not cater for our needs.

We have decided to create our own music zine, to attempt to return to the zine culture that existed before the internet and social networking. We will be creating a pointed and online edition once every two months, the online edition will be available for download and if you like what we are doing you are welcome to print and distribute copies. There will also be a website with regular blogs written by us and guests.

Everything will get underway in April, with the first issue being a solo artist special. I have already got confirmed interviews from Frank Turner, Liam O'Kane, Robb Blake, Barbar Luck, Matthew Reynolds and Mike Park with more to follow.

In the meantime please feel free to read my thoughts and opinions and I’ll keep you up to date with what’s going on with the zine.

If you like the idea please feel free to contribute in any way you see fit; we are currently looking for designers, photographers and writers if you want to get involved please get in touch. You can email me >